International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
IELTS measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication. It is also recognized in the French higher education system as an internationally approved test of competence in English. FIS students have taken and attained high scores in this test for several years now.
The test consists of 4 modules:
- Academic reading: similar to a reading comprehension test, duration one hour.
- Academic writing: two short essays, duration twenty and forty minutes respectively.
- Listening: duration thirty minutes.
- Speaking: duration 11 to 14 minutes, depending on whether the candidate chooses to take the test alone or with a partner (candidates indicate this when registering).
Candidates obtain a score ranging from 1 to 9. The University of Oxford, for example, requires 7.5/9.
Candidates register individually online (see below) for the date of their choice. The examination is 1500 HKD and is organized every two weeks throughout the school year and weekly during May and June. FIS candidates in Première (L6) are advised to take the test well before or after the French Baccalauareate (épreuves anticipées de français). Two months notice is usually required to obtain a test date, so candidates should register online well in advance.
- FIS candidates must register for academic training, which is intended for students. General training is intended for people wishing to immigrate to English-speaking countries.
- Candidates must be at least 16 years old when they take the exam.
The examination takes place at the British Council in Admiralty or in Kowloon, either over two half-days or on a whole day. Clear instructions are sent to the candidate with the test dates.
Candidates receive their results by post two weeks after the test. These can also be sent to an address in Europe or elsewhere.
In the month following the examination, the British Council will send the results free of charge to any educational institutions.
The French Ministry of Education foreign language curriculum is now based on the Council of Europe’s Common Framework for Languages. Students are expected to reach a B2 standard in the first foreign language studied. Most of our students attain band 7.0 or above at the IELTS exam and are therefore already well above the French Ministry of Education standard.
Table of Comparison:
CEF : Common European Framework IELTS: International English Language Testing System
BEC: Business English Certificates
CELS: Centre for English Language Studies
Main Suite: Cambridge Examinations - FCE First Certificate in English; CAE Certificate in Advanced English.
CPE: Certificate of Proficiency in English.
NQF: National Qualifications Framework